Julia Serano’s “Cocky”

Author of Whipping Girl Julia Serano performing “Cocky”:

h/t to Womanist Musings, including for the transcript beneath the fold (small corrections made by me).


We are often told that we are living in a mans world, and this culture no image represents power more than the phallic symbol and if the penis equal power then I am illegally armed. My body full of freckles and curves is like a stealth bomber, I fly just under everyone’s radar, but only because they choose not to see me. Only because no one wants to believe that a sweet petite green eyed girl like me could ever possibly be packing heat. They say it’s not the size of the wand but the magic that it does. Well after many months on estrogen my penis is pretty darn small, but she has supernatural powers. She is like some pissed off ancient Greek goddess. My penis changes the meanings of everything, and because of her every single one of my ex heterosexual girlfriends has slept with a lesbian, and every guy who hits on me these days could be accused of being gay. Because my penis bends everyone who is straight and she can make the most entitled catcallers and womanisers scurry away with their balls between their legs. All because of six small words, I used to be a man. And being a transsexual I realize that most people see my femaleness as a façade, as an elaborate hoax, but I am more real than any of them could ever hope to be. I am real because unlike them my gender is not based upon what other people think of me and that may make me an object of ridicule but I am not the butt of anyone’s joke, because I know that people make fun of trannies because we are the one thing that they fear the most. I am more badass than any gangster, more dangerous than any marine core. My penis is more powerful than the cocks of a million alpha males all put together. Because when a man is defined as that which is not female, and a woman is defined as that which is not male, then I am the loose thread that unravels the gender of everyone around me. They say it’s not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean. Well, my penis gives most people sea sickness. It makes people dizzy because most people are not secure enough in their own masculinity or femininity to survive a night in the sack with me. My penis turns simple sexual pleasures into political acts. She turns biological impossibilities into cold hard facts. My penis is the curiosity that you have been told will kill your cat. See, my penis can be deadly, especially to me, and I have heard almost every true story about what frightened macho boys do to trannies; every bludgeoning and mutilation, bodies beaten beyond recognition and I have imagined it all happening to me first person. Everytime I get up in front of a crowd to perform one of my outspoken word pieces, I can feel myself morph into a slow moving target. After the show when I walk back to my car I will be holding my breath half expecting that inevitable blow to the back of the head. Sometimes I wonder why it hasn’t happened yet, and sometimes I wonder why they just don’t get it over with. And sometimes I just wish I was dead, I wish I was dead. You see I never wanted to be dangerous and I spent most of my life wishing that I didn’t have a penis. I used to hate my body for not making any sense to me and these days I often hate it for being so in between. Some mornings I can hardly get out of bed because my body is so weighed down with ugly meanings that my culture has dumped all over me. You see I have made to feel shame and self loathing so that everyone else can take comfort in what their bodies mean. And if I seem a bit cocky it is because I refuse to make apologies for my body anymore. I am though being the human sacrifice offered up to appease other people’s gender issues. Some women have a penis, some men don’t and the rest of the world is just going to have to get the fuck over it. If I am destined to be the loose thread that unravels the gender of everyone around me then I am going to pull and pull and pull and pull and pull until everyone is exposed, till they all finally see that all along that they were merely wearing the emperor’s new clothes . I know that people don’t like it when I turn the tables on them but what the hell else am I supposed to do, play a hand from being dealt a deck of cards that was stacked against me? If I seem a bit cocky, it’s because I have spent my entire life being backed into a corner and like a frightened animal packed full of adrenaline and sick of hunger and hiding I am finally desperate enough to come out fighting

One thought on “Julia Serano’s “Cocky”

  1. Pingback: Retrofit 5-Pack, end of 2009 spirit « What Sorts of People

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